Windows 95 released 17 years ago today

Windows 95 was arguably make or break for Microsoft, and today we celebrate the date in which it was released seventeen years ago.

The iconic clouds startup screen.

Seventeen years ago today Windows 95 was released to the public to major fanfare and success, this success also brought an antitrust case against Microsoft for bundling Internet Explorer 4.0 with a later service release of Windows 95.

Windows 95 integrated Microsoft's formerly separate MS-DOS and Windows products. It featured significant improvements over its predecessor, Windows 3.1, most notably in the graphical user interface (GUI) and in its relatively simplified "plug-n-play" features. There were also major changes made at lower levels of the operating system, such as moving from a mainly 16-bit architecture to a pre-emptively multitasked 32-bit architecture.

Welcome indeed.

In the marketplace, Windows 95 was a major success, and shortly became the most popular desktop operating system. It was also suggested it had the effect of driving other major players (including OS/2) out of business, something which would later be used in court against Microsoft.

Depending on how you look at it, there were six major updates to Windows 95 between 1996 and 1997 which included both Service Packs and Service Releases, this excludes the Windows 95 Plus! Pack that was released on the same day as Windows 95. 

Three years later Windows 98 succeeded it; but I think we can all agree that Windows 95 started a PC revolution, and for that we can be thankful --or not, depending on which way you swing.

Windows 95 is unsupported as of December 31, 2001, but anyway;

Happy Birthday Windows 95!

Reference & Images: Wikipedia
Thanks for the tip MtnCodeDrewFreak in our forums!

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I'm nostalgic of the 9x series... until I remember just how buggy and crash prone they were.

9x was a stack of cards balanced on DOS. MS-DOS was basically the real "OS", and Windows 95/98 sort of like a really complex window manager, like a combination of X and KDE, running on top.

When I ran Windows 2000 beta for the first time in the summer of 1999, I never turned back.

One thing I will say, even on older hardware it installed fast and just felt faster. Windows 8 is the first OS in years that I see bringing back some of those good old days when the OS was just fast at certain routines (install, boot up).

MtnDewCodeRedFreak said,
I rememeber using Win95 C on the school computers. Teacher would get ****ed whenever I'd play FreeCell or Solitaire on it, lol.

My own too, geez, I nobody should ever go near her NT 4 server. To this day her voice saying 'Save and Exit' is stuck in my brain.

Remember it was a pretty big deal, lots of excitement. Thought 98SE was the best of the 9x kernel OS's. Miss it in a nostalgic sort of way.

We mainly used Win 3.1 at my high school school, complete with a DOS-based Novell network login, and I remember how much more streamlined and useful Win95 was when I got permission to install it on some of our 486s. I was so happy to be free of that horrid Win 3.1.

Windows 95 was my shortest lived OS. After years of DOS, Windows 3.0 and 3.1 on an old beat up 386 I finally got my first new computer and it came with Windows 95. The thing was I bought it at the end of 1997 and it came with a free upgrade voucher to Windows 98. For what little time I used it though it was amazing, especially on my monstrous Pentium II 266 system with 64MB of RAM.

Windows 95 was my first OS on my first computer:

-Pentium 200Mhz
-64MB Ram
-800MB HDD
-Trindent VGA Card
-SoundBlaster 16

It ROCKED!!!
...and also crashed like HELL!
HBD Windows 95!

I upgraded to Windows 95 from Windows 3.11 /w PC Tools 4.0
I felt it was a let down as PC Tools was much more powerful it terms of usability. Actually, I still use Win311+PCTools in a VBox virtual machine... just for fun

Also, I remember "dropping" to the MS-DOS prompt quite often as many of the things I did were simply faster and easier to perform using the command line. It took me some time to get used to it.

But, nonetheless it was definitely a tremendous step forward in the right direction and I guess it "saved" Microsoft.

Septimus said,
Still more functional than Windows 8.

In what way?
One of the things I don't miss about Windows 95 is the constant BSOD's. It crashed often, just simplest installation of a program could damage config files. Not to mention viruses, in pre-Internet ubiquity days, viruses use to wreak havoc on it. Another problem was the regular need to reboot at least a few times per day and need to always defrag the disk. So next time you say Windows 8 is not functional, first, make sure you actually used both operating systems.

Septimus said,
Still more functional than Windows 8.

Yes. However, let's not get carried away trying to compare two different Operating System philosophies. Windows-8 is a totally different OS from the long line that currently ends with Windows-7.

Mr. Dee said,

In what way?
One of the things I don't miss about Windows 95 is the constant BSOD's. It crashed often, just simplest installation of a program could damage config files. Not to mention viruses, in pre-Internet ubiquity days, viruses use to wreak havoc on it. Another problem was the regular need to reboot at least a few times per day and need to always defrag the disk. So next time you say Windows 8 is not functional, first, make sure you actually used both operating systems.

Well at the time "Norton" was still owned by Peter Norton and the AV was great, I used it and never got a virus; BSOD? Yes I got them but surely not so often and I did not to reboot several times a day......
Maybe you had hardware issues...... And yes I remember DOS and DRDos too....

TsarNikky said,

Yes. However, let's not get carried away trying to compare two different Operating System philosophies. Windows-8 is a totally different OS from the long line that currently ends with Windows-7.

Windows 8 (kernel 6.2) is not a totally different OS, it still uses the same NT kernel as previous operating systems. It has a new default UI called the Start Scree and the classic desktop app which runs the same applications that run on Windows 7 (kernel 6.1) and Vista (kernel 6.0) today.

Fritzly said,

Well at the time "Norton" was still owned by Peter Norton and the AV was great, I used it and never got a virus; BSOD? Yes I got them but surely not so often and I did not to reboot several times a day......
Maybe you had hardware issues...... And yes I remember DOS and DRDos too....

Nothing wrong with the hardware at all because I rant Windows NT 4.0 Workstation on the same hardware for years, it even ran Windows 2000 Professional for a little while without any problems, rarely rebooted. Norton had been bought by Symantec early in the 90's, Perter was just a mascot.

my first pc to run windows 95 was an amd 5x86 x5 133mhz p-75 clone =] 8meg ram 1.7gig quantum fireball with an s3virge =] ahh the good ole days

Indeed it was a revolution - due to it's start menu. An extremely easy way to start programs.
I've used all versions, starting with windows 1.0.
Now with Windows 8 it's like going back to old 3.1...

eiffel_g said,
Indeed it was a revolution - due to it's start menu. An extremely easy way to start programs.
I've used all versions, starting with windows 1.0.
Now with Windows 8 it's like going back to old 3.1...

Yeah, right. On Win8 it's really hard. Click on the appearing Start icon in the corner, click on the program icon. Phew. I'm lucky I got this far.

bviktor said,

Yeah, right. On Win8 it's really hard. Click on the appearing Start icon in the corner, click on the program icon. Phew. I'm lucky I got this far.

I duno, I've used windows 8 since it was in DP and the start screen still bugs me, and its not just click click like it was with the start button (lets ignore keyboards for a second) it's move hover wait for a image to show click that to get to the start screen then scroll until you find it if you have a lot of tiles, and when you do work like I do, you have a lot of tiles..... then click and there... it does take me longer to do some stuff now, yes I know people are going to whine and scream about me saying that, but honestly it does for me.. and I always hated animation, I ALWAYS turned that off in windows... i duno too much eye candy for the sake of it

neufuse said,

I duno, I've used windows 8 since it was in DP and the start screen still bugs me, and its not just click click like it was with the start button (lets ignore keyboards for a second) it's move hover wait for a image to show click that to get to the start screen then scroll until you find it if you have a lot of tiles, and when you do work like I do, you have a lot of tiles..... then click and there... it does take me longer to do some stuff now, yes I know people are going to whine and scream about me saying that, but honestly it does for me.. and I always hated animation, I ALWAYS turned that off in windows... i duno too much eye candy for the sake of it


meh... Win key + type

Ricardo Dawkins said,

meh... Win key + type

someone didn't read what I wrote huh? I said ignore the keyboard... kinda hard to winkey and type without one

Still have my old PC's we ran Windows 95 on.

Zenith GT Workstation, Windows 95
133 MHz Intel Pentium
32 MBs of RAM
upgraded to NT 4.0 since it was the computer my dad used at his office.

ALR Systems, Windows 95
Pentium 75 MHz
24 MBs of RAM

They boot, but I just can get past BIOS.

I used Windows 95 throughout highschool along with Office 97. Teacher had installed Office 2000 a decade ago on a few select PC's. Surprised those computers ran it so well. They were IBM Aptivas.

I remember some users searched in Autoexec.bat for the "Win" command cause they thought that Windows 95 added it to autoexec.bat to start automatically on PC startup. They never understood that Windows 95 was a real OS not like Windows 3.1

reading these comments makes me feel old lol. Anyway I remember upgrading from 3.1 to windows 95 that summer it got released and it was so cool.

Their tip was: "To open a program, just click the Start button...".
But today? "To open a program... uh... go look for it in the endless scroll metro menu thing.. oh, and to go there press the win-key on your keyboard...".

bomba6 said,
Their tip was: "To open a program, just click the Start button...".
But today? "To open a program... uh... go look for it in the endless scroll metro menu thing.. oh, and to go there press the win-key on your keyboard...".

Well um, the process is the same. Click on the bottom left of the screen, then click on the appropriate program icon.

A Win95 Start Menu can be "endless" too, if you install that many programs. It's the exact same thing. Except a Win95 Start Menu would become "endless" much sooner since it utilizes screen space less efficiently. Not to mention scrolling would be slower too, since there's no scrollbar on the traditional Start Menu and the mouse wheel wouldn't work either. On the Start Screen they do work.

And "To open a program, just click the Start button". Really? Somehow I didn't realize that's how Win95 worked although I've been using it for years. For some reason I also had to click on the program shortcut as well to start the program, not just the Start button. Just like on Win8. Were you using some kind of mind reading edition?

How about not trying to validate your arguments by leaving details out?

Too bad people who are unable for abstraction and are attached to exact looks rather than concepts/procedures are still complaining for the 1000th time about these kinds of nonissues and subtle "differences" (lack of, actually).

You remind me of my grandma who can't find an icon on the desktop if one moves it 10 pixels away.

So yeah, you can leave these kind of false statements for yourself. They don't make any sense.

bomba6 said,
Their tip was: "To open a program, just click the Start button...".
But today? "To open a program... uh... go look for it in the endless scroll metro menu thing.. oh, and to go there press the win-key on your keyboard...".

Windows 7 start menu: You still had to scroll trough the list of all programs, how is different?

I was an OS/2 user (Warp 3 Connect) at the time this came out. When it got to the point where I had to start using Office 97, I opted to install NT 4.0 over 95\98.

However I do have the original copies of Windows 95b, 98 and 98SE. As well as my collection of OS/2 originals - only missing v1.

Good times.

Stores where opening at midnight to let lines of people buy Win95, Plus! and Office95. It was the only time I saw so many people interested in buying an OS....

This is not gonna happen with Win8...

TruckWEB said,
Stores where opening at midnight to let lines of people buy Win95, Plus! and Office95. It was the only time I saw so many people interested in buying an OS....

This is not gonna happen with Win8...


Times have changed, though, I'd doubt many people would stand in lines outside a store for any software nowadays. Remember that Windows 95 was released just at the start of the internet era.

TruckWEB said,
Stores where opening at midnight to let lines of people buy Win95, Plus! and Office95. It was the only time I saw so many people interested in buying an OS....

This is not gonna happen with Win8...

OFC not gonna happen, mostly coz people don't buy OSes in boxes from shops anymore.

TruckWEB said,
Stores where opening at midnight to let lines of people buy Win95, Plus! and Office95. It was the only time I saw so many people interested in buying an OS....

This is not gonna happen with Win8...


did it happen with XP or Windows 7? jeeezz.. People still continue the Windows 8 hate parade..

TruckWEB said,
Stores where opening at midnight to let lines of people buy Win95, Plus! and Office95. It was the only time I saw so many people interested in buying an OS....

This is not gonna happen with Win8...

Yes Office 95 initially was offered on 3.5 diskettes and the Pro version included a coupon to receive Access that was released at a later time.
Good old times.....

Fritzly said,

Yes Office 95 initially was offered on 3.5 diskettes and the Pro version included a coupon to receive Access that was released at a later time.
Good old times.....

I remember installing the floppy version of Windows 98 on an older laptop. I used to think that installing Windows 3.1 took a long time, but that took forever. There were nearly 40 disks.

Uplift said,
I was too young for Windows 95, i started on Windows 98. 400Mhz CPU, 3.1GB HDD, 64MB RAM and 8MB video card..

I started on Windows 95 with 200Mhz CPU (after overclocking it!), 1.5GB HDD, 32 or 16MB RAM (cannot remember which) and a 4MB onboard video chip. At that time, 400Mhz CPUs were just a dream for most people.

I still think we would have much better PCs and software, if IBM had holded out a litte bit longer with OS/2 (yes, the thing with the 50 (???)*1,44" diskette ) , this early days.

I remember the tv commercial with the Rolling Stones - Start Me Up as the backing track. The track being really important due to the new Start Button and Start Menu.

I wonder what theme song they could use for Windows 8, as it has neither... any suggestions?

I just missed out on Windows 95, we got our very first PC at home about two months after Windows 98 was released. I had used it at a friends house however.

Our school had "Acorn" computers right the way up until 2000. The school year I was in was the first there that had the option of doing GCSE / GNVQ ICT on Windows based machines (that ran Windows NT 4.0) for our GCSE's.

alwaysonacoffebreak said,
lol Windows 95 was the longest lasting OS on my 386 40MHz of pure power.

Really, on a 386? That's kind of an accomplishment, we had a 386 and it could barely run Windows 3.11 with Wordperfect 6.... Let along Windows 95...

Farchord said,

Really, on a 386? That's kind of an accomplishment, we had a 386 and it could barely run Windows 3.11 with Wordperfect 6.... Let along Windows 95...


What are you talking about
I installed Win 95 on my old PC which is XT 4MHz 640KB RAM 40MB HDD.
I couldn't bear the crawling so I went back to Windows 3.11 for workgroups,
eventually back to MS-DOS

Windows 95 was just like a Dream.

Farchord said,

Really, on a 386? That's kind of an accomplishment, we had a 386 and it could barely run Windows 3.11 with Wordperfect 6.... Let along Windows 95...

It was slow as hell but it did work. I think I still got the case somewhere in my basement, should take a look.

Majed said,

What are you talking about
I installed Win 95 on my old PC which is XT 4MHz 640KB RAM 40MB HDD.
I couldn't bear the crawling so I went back to Windows 3.11 for workgroups,
eventually back to MS-DOS

Windows 95 was just like a Dream.

386 DX was a 32-bit CPU, 386 SX was a 16-bit CPU. Therefore, 386 DX was able to run Windows 95. Yes, slow but not that bad if u have a coffee machine beside ur pc or a gaming console

MWKZ said,

386 DX was a 32-bit CPU, 386 SX was a 16-bit CPU. Therefore, 386 DX was able to run Windows 95. Yes, slow but not that bad if u have a coffee machine beside ur pc or a gaming console

Ohh I just remembered!, it wasn't my PC "XT" it was a 286 12MHz pc , my sister brought it from her friend to fix it, I tried win 95 for a couple of days.!!!

Thank you for refreshing my memory.

No Windows 95 wouldn't run on a 286. The 286 was only a 16 bit CPU and Windows 95 was a 32 bit OS. The slowest CPU it would run on was a 386 and it was diabolically slow on that.

MWKZ said,

386 DX was a 32-bit CPU, 386 SX was a 16-bit CPU. Therefore, 386 DX was able to run Windows 95. Yes, slow but not that bad if u have a coffee machine beside ur pc or a gaming console


ALL 386 where 32-bit CPU. 386 SX was 16-bit only in the I/O. I ran Windows 95 in a Acer Power 386 SX with 4MB of RAM back in 1995.

Farchord said,

Really, on a 386? That's kind of an accomplishment, we had a 386 and it could barely run Windows 3.11 with Wordperfect 6.... Let along Windows 95...


The issue was running WordPerfect 6.0 (LOL). Word 6.0 ran way better in my 386 SX with 4MB of RAM. I did all my junior high school and early college work on it.

alwaysonacoffebreak said,
lol Windows 95 was the longest lasting OS on my 386 40MHz of pure power.
.

Dang! I would have killed for that back in the day. I was on a 386 SX-15 with 2 megs of RAM. So slow.

I remember Windows 95. It is amazing i ever used a resolution that low. I remember going to 1024x768 and thinking how amazing it was. Also switching my monitor to resolution/refresh rate my computer didn't support and thinking i broke it.

Lingwo said,
I remember Windows 95. It is amazing i ever used a resolution that low. I remember going to 1024x768 and thinking how amazing it was. Also switching my monitor to resolution/refresh rate my computer didn't support and thinking i broke it.

I remember doing the same mistake. Took me a while before I learned how to undo it. So much learning by trial-and-error with Windows 95. XD

Lamp Post said,

I remember doing the same mistake. Took me a while before I learned how to undo it. So much learning by trial-and-error with Windows 95. XD

lol I remember breaking my dad's computer by deleting the COMMAND.COM file lol

Lingwo said,
I remember Windows 95. It is amazing i ever used a resolution that low. I remember going to 1024x768 and thinking how amazing it was. Also switching my monitor to resolution/refresh rate my computer didn't support and thinking i broke it.

Try being the teachers aide in the computer lab in a high school in that time period. 3rd week of every new quarter covered changing refresh rates and screen resolution. I had to memorize the sequence for resetting these things blind.

Neobond said,
Who remembers the Buddy Holly - Weezer video that was included on the CD-ROM version of Windows 95?
Yes Indeed. But most of all I remember Hover!

Neobond said,
Who remembers the Buddy Holly - Weezer video that was included on the CD-ROM version of Windows 95?

And the Rob Roy film trailer. Yes I have the original CD right here - signed by Bill G.

Neobond said,
Who remembers the Buddy Holly - Weezer video that was included on the CD-ROM version of Windows 95?

Me! I think I still have it around here somewhere....

Neobond said,
Who remembers the Buddy Holly - Weezer video that was included on the CD-ROM version of Windows 95?

My favorite extra was the Good Times video by Edie Brickel just takes me back to a period in my life. That is why I miss the 90s so much.

Neobond said,
Who remembers the Buddy Holly - Weezer video that was included on the CD-ROM version of Windows 95?

I remember thinking those two pixelated music videos were the coolest things ever. Not sure why since I had MTV on crystal clear C-Band satellite years before. I guess the idea of full motion video on a computer seemed incredible at the time.

Hello,

I just copied it from the \FUNSTUFF\HOVER directory to my PC running Windows 7 x64 and it still works. Pretty amazing level of compatibility!

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

virtorio said,
Yes Indeed. But most of all I remember Hover!

windows95isg8 said,
That's a desktop you wont forget in a hurry lol.. Plain and simple, but did the job well for years.. Well Windows 98se was better but still

Of course Windows 98SE was better, this isn't the point of the post though.

LAMj said,
It was like it's just yesterday
For me, it was yesterday I used Windows 95 the last time (over an houre, I do it again ). I've an old PC with Windows 95, just for fun.